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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 30, 2004

30 June 2004
Kazakh President Visits Kazan...
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev arrived in Kazan on 29 June, Tatar and Russian news agencies reported. Nazarbaev's visit is expected to include negotiations with Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev and participation in an international conference on the Eurasianism legacy of Lev Gumilev. Nazarbaev will also visit Kazan's Gorbunov Aviation Plant for an industrial exposition.

...And Officials Discuss Industrial Cooperation
Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov met with Kazakh Industry and Trade Minister Adilbek Jaksybekov on 29 June, reported. The two discussed a joint project on the lease of vehicles between KamAZ and Kazakhstan's three machine-building companies, the production in Kazakhstan of buses on KamAZ chassis, participation of the Kazan Helicopter Plant in repairs of Mi-8 and Mi-8MT helicopters in Kazakhstan, and the possible purchase by Kazakhstan of Tatar-made helicopters. Bilateral trade turnover grew by 74 percent, to $127 million, in 2003.

Results Of Prime Minister's Belarus Visit Announced
Officials announced the results of a 22-23 June visit to Belarus by Tatarstan's Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov at a cabinet briefing on 29 June, Tatarinform reported the same day. Following Minnikhanov's meeting with representatives of Belarus's Tatar diaspora, which numbers about 10,000, it was decided to launch transmission of Tatarstan's TNV channel in Belarus and to open a direct railway link between Minsk and Kazan. The Tatar government, together with Tatneft and Ak Bars Bank, will also seek to allocate 2.5 million rubles ($86,000) toward the construction of a mosque in Minsk. Representatives of the Tatar diaspora were invited to take part in celebrations of Tatarstan's Republic Day on 30 August. On a bilateral level, Tatar and Belarusian officials signed an intergovernment agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation that extends a similar document signed 12 years ago. Nizhnekamskneftekhim's deliveries of petrochemical products to Belarusian companies will also be extended, and the Minsk Tractor will deliver parts to YelAZ for the assembly of 5,000 tractors a year. The opening of an Ak Bars Bank subsidiary in Belarus and cooperation in machine-tool construction and telecommunications sectors were also on the agenda.

Kazan Monument To City's Defenders Approved
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 30 June that authorities have approved a project to construct a monument to the defenders of Kazan from the forces of Ivan the Terrible in 1552 in downtown Kazan.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Canada Credits UralSib
The UralSib bank has received a $13 million loan from the Canadian Export Development Corporation, RosBalt reported on 29 June. The loan has been issued for a three-year term to finance the export of boring equipment from Canada for an UralSib client. UralSib was established in 1993 by the Bashkir government and now has capital of 7.6 billion rubles ($261 million). The Bashkir government maintains a 20 percent stake in the bank while 75 percent of its shares belong to the NIKoil investment group. The bank has over 330 offices in 70 Russian cities.

Prosecutor Murder Trial Postponed
The trial into the murder of Sibai prosecutor Khenif Qarachurin has been postponed until late August, RosBalt reported on 29 June. Initially, it was slated for late June. According to the agency, one of the suspects, former head of the Sibai State Traffic Security Inspection Nuriekhmet Shagiev, and his lawyer have not read the case materials. Four suspects will appear before the court. Qarachurin was shot in his apartment on 22 December 2003.

Officers Arrested For Narcotics Trafficking
A group of officers from the Ufa military garrison allegedly involved in narcotics trafficking were arrested in a joint operation of the Interior Ministry's Anti-Organized Crime Board and the Federal Security Service's Military Counterintelligence, RBK reported on 28 June, citing the press service of the Bashkir Interior Ministry. Eleven kilograms of marijuana were found in the officer's possession. The names of the officers have not been reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova